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NYC's archeological treasures will soon go on view at a new research center

The city’s first municipal archive of its archeological collections opens tomorrow

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will officially unveil the city’s first municipal archive for its massive archeological collection on Wednesday, the New York Times reports. Though opened in 2014, the repository for this collection at 114 West 47th Street, will now be open to researchers by appointment. Named the Nan A. Rothschild Research Center, after a professor at Barnard College and Columbia University who directed one of the city’s first major historical digs in the late 1970s, the center is located in a space donated to the city by the Durst Organization.

Prior to the center’s creation in 2014, the city’s archeological artifacts were stored in 14 different locations across the city including Brooklyn College and Columbia University. The climate-controlled space on West 47th Street is now consolidating all of those collections. At present the repository houses hundreds of thousands of artifacts from sites across the city. Items from 15 of these sites can be browsed on the repository’s online database with more to follow as funding becomes available.

Just some of the artifacts that can be found in the repository include a collection of 18th century liquor bottles, a 7,000-year-old spear tip, and a bone from a passenger pigeon, which became extinct in 1914, per the Times. The items here range anywhere from an object like the spear tip to artifacts from the 19th century.